The Sting is a classic story of revenge for the death of a good friend. Instead of the revenge being an eye for an eye, Hill has the leading characters get their revenge by coning the, man responsible for the death, out of his money. Within the first ten minutes you are grabbed into the film. Hill breaks the conformity of other films by making the leading characters con-men. This is very different from other films because these men should not be looked at as the good guys but just the opposite. George Roy Hill’s film The Sting uses many forms of irony in the setting of the 1920’s Chicago to show the theme of revenge for a friend’s death. Johnny Hooker played by Robert Redford is the main character in the film. The irony in the film is that he is the ‘good guy’ and is also a gambling addict and street con-man. Hill also uses other forms of irony, Henry Gandorf played buy Paul Newman owns a gambling\whore house which has a giant carousal in the middle. The film starts out quickly and keeps up the pace as it goes on. The film is set up like a book its opening credits are shown over each page.
The film is also split up into chapters each with its own title. When the title of the chapter shows up it looks like a piece of paper and is turned going into the next scene. The movie is very clever; the plan for the sting is very tricky and surprising to the viewer. Hill shows us most of the plan but leaves out small parts for an ending surprise. Johnny and Henry are very witty and smart, they make us like them from the very beginning and they keep it up until the end. The two con-men meet on behalf of the death of a mutual friend. Before Johnny’s friend died he told him of a great man who could teach him to work the big con. The great man is referring to Henry and the big con is something larger that pickpocketing and small tricks. Listening to the music gives you the idea of exactly the type of film it is. The Entertainer is played many times throughout the film and is the perfect song. The song fits the pace of the movie and it shows that it is both fun and serious. The only problem that I had with the film is that there are some unneeded parts. There is a scene where Johnny meets a diner waitress and ends up going to bed with her. The next day we find that she is gone and the apartment is empty. When he next sees her she is shot and he is told that she was going to kill him. This whole section did not further the plot in any way and seemed to be meaningless to the film. In the film The Sting director George Roy Hill shows that the theme is the revenge for a friend’s death. Hill uses a more respectable way to gain revenge than just killing the man who is responsible. The main characters in the film con the gangster responsible for their friend’s death out of his money and his dignity. Using the main characters as the ‘good guys’ Hill makes them con men to go against the regular Hollywood style.
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